President Obama’s Health Care Summit is slated for Thursday. Prior to the the bi-partisan meeting, both Democrats are Republicans on Capitol Hill are engaging in political posturing. A number of Republicans are accusing the President of engaging in “political theater’ in calling for the summit, Democrats and some moderate members of the GOP are hoping that healthy dialogue will bring forth a workable compromise. Appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning House Majority Whip James Clyburn says a number of the President’s critics are falsely accusing the Commander in chief of attempting to ram his proposals “down their throats.”
“Everybody on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, have been calling upon this President for weeks now to put something out there, tell us what it is that you want. Now that he’s telling us what he wants, now we’re saying that he’s trying to ram it down out throats. That is what the meeting Thursday is all about. Take a look at what he is proposing. If you want to modify it, let’s talk about it and let’s modify it. If you want to add to it, then let’s add to it.”
Chairman of the Republican Governors Association Haley Barbour of Mississippi says he and his fellow governors should have a place at the table of the upcoming summit. Clyburn counters that the legislative proposals on the table already gives governors the flexibility to tailor plans for their individual states.
“Haley Barbour talks about his proposals in Mississippi, One of the things that is in this proposal is for us to have these multi-state and state options if they want to go to their own kind of exchange. So we are not trying to keep states from doing it, we’re permitting states to do it.”
The embattled public option component of health care that conservatives in Congress have railed against is again picking up steam among Democrats in the Senate with the Circulation of a Public Option letter that has been signed as of (today) Tuesday by 20 senators urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include a public option in health care reform by using the process of reconciliation, that requires 50 votes plus a tiebreaker from Vice President Joe Biden. Republicans says such a move would be unprecedented, not so says Clyburn, who says the GOP has used the process when it suited them.
(Clyburn-Fox News 2-23 MP3 3:57)
Clyburn-Fox News 2-23
“Reconciliation is exactly what George W. Bush did to get his tax cuts passed. The tax cuts that took us from $250-billion surpluses down to $250-billion deficits. If that was not a big game changer, I’d like to know what is.”